Vail was an obvious choice for these two avid skiers from New York City. Capitalizing on the brilliant fall colors in late September, Paige and John treated their 150 guests to a mountain fete featuring romantic florals, a rich fall color palette, and classic, but elegant, rustic details. Mountain wedding photographer Eric Lundgren was on hand to capture every sweet moment and beautiful mountain vista.
Paige + John
September 24, 2016
Wedding day weather: Snow in the morning, brief sun mid day, cool & overcast in the afternoon, rain in the evening. Despite the schizophrenic weather throughout the day, the wedding was gorgeous and we wouldn't have changed a moment.
Number of guests: 150
Your budget: $60K – $70K
Biggest splurge: Monique Lhuillier dress
Biggest savings: Reception venue – Donovan Pavilion – allowed for offsite vendors/caterers
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
My husband, John, grew up in CO. He loves the mountains and has skied his whole life. After we began dating, we took many ski trips back to CO to ski in Vail. It became an annual retreat for us. When we got engaged, we agonized over our wedding location, but ultimately, we felt that Vail was the perfect option for us to host family & friends for our wedding.
Wedding day theme:
“Refined Rustic” – capitalizing on the natural beauty of the fall Aspen leaves ablaze in gold. Played to the vibrant colors of Colorado fall – burnt oranges, plum, peaches and light pinks.
Where did you find your inspiration?
I created a Pinterest board w/ wedding inspiration ideas, and then our wedding planner used that to curate the final concept.
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
We wanted every shred of the wedding to reflect us and be entirely authentic to who we are and what we care about. I said from day one – “I want to have a great dress, and I want my wedding to have an awesome dance party!” We not only had both of those things, but we also incorporated the glorious Colorado mountain backdrop into our wedding in many ways. A few examples – We gave each guest an Aspen leave ornament w/ our names and wedding date engraved on them as favors. We had antique wooden skis for guests to sign rather than a traditional wedding guestbook. We had the ceremony outside w/ Vail's Gold Peak as the backdrop, a mountain we've skied down many times.
What was your favorite part of the reception?
My incredible family completely surprised us w/ a flashmob to kick off our wedding reception dance. I grew up dancing (mostly ballet) and knew I wanted the focus of our reception to be an awesome dance party. Our families embraced this and secretly conspired for weeks before the wedding to plan and execute a flashmob. My husband and I were completely shocked when 40 people rushed the dance floor to perform a choreographed hip-hop routine to Bruno Mars' “Uptown Funk”.
What are three things you're super glad you did?
- Hired a wedding planner
- Made sure we had great food and included a late night food menu for our guests who stayed and danced until the very end
- Found a great DJ and bought fun party favors to liven up the dance (LED flashing light sticks and LED flashing sunglasses)
Anything you wished you hadn't worried about?
- Agonized over how many cake servings to get
- Agonized over how many rooms to include in the room block
- Agonized over the weather
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
Distance – my husband and I live in NYC, but we fortunately had a wonderful wedding planner and friends/family in Vail who helped guide us. We also made numerous trips back to CO for tastings, venue visits, etc including arriving in Vail a week prior to the wedding to address any last minute needs/details.
How did you find and choose your vendors?
My mom found our wedding planner online through WeddingWire.com, and then we leaned heavily on our wedding planner to provide vendor recommendations.
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
Embrace the weather. The Colorado mountains have unpredictable weather, but the mountains are gorgeous in any state, so rain/sun/snow/sleet, just dig your heels in and enjoy the day!
Vail Wedding Vendors
Photographer: Eric Lundgren | Florist: Southern Charm Wedding and Events (Florist – Cheri Taunton Garner) | Wedding Planner: Erica Sarell Weddings | Wedding Cake: Sugar Breck | Ceremony Venue: Manor Vail Lodge (outdoor lawn) | Reception Venue: Donovan Pavilion | DJ: Greatime DJ (Erik Vienneau) | Catering: TASTE 5 Catering (Chef – Richard Bailey) | Stationery: Minted | Wedding gown designer: Monique Lhuillier | Shoes: Vince Camuto ‘Imagine – Lilo' Lace Wedge Sandal | Groom's apparel: Men's Warehouse